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Leeper Family
Biography: Alexander Leeper was born in 1848 and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin where he graduated M.A. and L.L.D. and was awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Prize, First Classical Scholarship Berkely Gold Medal and St. John's College, Oxford, First-Class Classical Moderations, exhibitioner and scholar. In 1876, Leeper was appointed Warden at Trinity College, University of Melbourne. He was a member of Melbourne University Council, a Lay Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral, President of the Melbourne Public Library, the National Gallery and the Classical Association and Vice-President of the Shakespeare Association. In 1879 he married Adeline Marian Allen (1853-1893) with whom he had four children: Adeline Theodora Allen (Kitty) Leeper 1881-1971); Katharine Janet (Katha) Leeper (1883-1913); Alexander Wigram Allen (Allen) Leeper (1887-1935); and Reginald Wildig Allen (Rex) Leeper (1888-1968). After the death of Adeline Marian, he was married again in 1897 to Mary Elizabeth Moule (1859-1952) with whom he had three children: Valentine Alexa Leeper (1900-2001); Beatrice Mary (Molly) Leeper (1901-1992); and Geoffrey Winthrop Leeper (1903-1986). Alexander Leeper retired as Warden in 1918 and died in 1934. Geoffrey Winthrop Leeper was educated at Melbourne Grammar School and the University of Melbourne, and graduated B.Sc. and M.Sc. He lectured in Agricultural Chemistry from 1933, was appointed Associate Professor in 1946 and became Professor in 1962. He retired in 1969 and died in 1986. Valentine Alexa Leeper was born on Valentine's day 1900 in Melbourne. Valentine was educated at Melbourne Church of England Girls Grammar School (MCEGGS) and at Trinity College, and was an Australian classicist, teacher, polemicist, and letter-writer of renown. Like her father, Valentine was a controversialist, and although eccentric and conservative in style, she was liberal in many of her views and publicly condemned racism. While often promoting an assimilationist model, she was an activist and advocate for Indigenous rights, refugees, freedom of speech, and women’s rights. Valentine was an active member of several networks and groups seeking social justice for Aboriginal Australian people, in particular the Victorian Aboriginal Group for which she was secretary and a long-time member, and the National Association for the Advancement of the Native Race. She was a commentator and activist on international affairs, being a long-time member of the League of Nations Union; an education activist for the protection of classical studies; and in the Church as an advocate of women’s ordination amongst other things. For many years, she worked as secretary and carer to her father, then as carer for her mother, after which she obtained work as a school teacher. Valentine frequently wrote assertive letters to newspapers, government ministers, Anglican Church leaders, and media outlets. In 1944 she published a pamphlet, Piecrust Promises, attacking what she saw as the British betrayal of Poland to the Soviet Union during World War II. Valentine died in 2001 at the age of 101. Sources: Poynter, M 2008, Nobody’s Valentine: letters in the life of Valentine Alexa Leeper, 1900-2001, Melbourne University Publishing, Carlton, Vic. Leeper, V. A. 1944, Piecrust promises?: the Atlantic charter and the Anglo-Polish treaty, Ford & Son Press, Melbourne. Wikipedia entry: J. R. Poynter, 'Leeper, Alexander (1848–1934)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1986, accessed online 16 January 2019.
Activities/Occupation: Academics - Agriculture, College heads
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